Several high-profile companies have been in the news of late, finding themselves in the spotlight because of poor customer service policies.
These posts are not meant to be an all-inclusive guide for school district leadership, but rather offer suggestions and guidance on school district referendum communication-related issues.
All opinions expressed are my own. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3. Perhaps more than any other industry or business, public education depends on its employees to be the stewards of its brand.
So why then are employees often viewed as the red-headed stepchild of the communications family? The following tips will help you do just that: Ensure that staff gets their information from the district first. Outside of your school board and cabinet members, your staff should be the first to hear district news.
Keeping them in the loop and having them hear information from your as opposed to the local news builds trust and goodwill that cannot be built elsewhere.
Provide regular updates through a variety of channels. Plan to update your employees no less than once a week. Consider using a mix of electronic and print communications, telephone messages, and face-to-face communication to update staff.
If you are comfortable with technology, consider recording and sharing a video blog vlog. Be present and reach your employees where they live.
Remember, nothing builds relationships more effectively than face-to-face interaction. Ask and answer questions. Employees can be a good bellwether as to how your community is feeling.
They can also help you determine if your messages are getting through. Ask them what they are hearing and if they have any questions about the referendum.
Chances are good that if your employees have questions or concerns, others in your community have the same questions. Treat staff as though they are your best customers. Maybe the chef would prepare a unique dish made especially for you.The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “ a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” When it comes to internal PR, the “public” is an organization’s employees or board members.
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